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Ocasio-Cortez: $10 trillion needed for effective climate plan

Ocasio-Cortez: $10 trillion needed for effective climate plan
© Greg Nash

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez spent inauguration evening supporting striking workers in New York Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden faces tall order in uniting polarized nation MORE (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that any plan to sufficiently address the climate crisis will need to cost at least $10 trillion.

“I think we really need to get to $10 trillion to have a shot,” the progressive firebrand said in response to a question from The Hill in the Capitol.

“I know it’s a ton," she added. "I don’t think anyone wants to spend that amount of money, it’s not a fun number to say, I’m not excited to say we need to spend $10 trillion on climate, but ... it’s just the fact of the scenario.”

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Ocasio-Cortez, who helped popularize a set of principles known as the Green New Deal, said that of all the climate plans from the Democratic presidential candidates, she was most supportive of proposals from Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeThousands of troops dig in for inauguration OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters Legislatures boost security after insurrection, FBI warnings MORE (Wash.), which surpassed $5 trillion, and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden's Interior Department temporarily blocks new drilling on public lands | Group of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone | Judge grants preliminary approval for 0M Flint water crisis settlement Senate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee MORE (Mass.), which included a $2 trillion green manufacturing element.

She said she was also encouraged that 2020 Democratic front-runner Joe BidenJoe BidenRev. Barber says best way to undercut extremism is with honesty Biden requires international travelers to quarantine upon arrival to US Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 MORE had put out a $5 trillion climate plan, though she criticized the former vice president's proposal for having less-ambitious goals and timelines than others.

All the plans in question could go further, however, she added.

“I think the entire field of climate plans still needs to be pushed,” she said. “I think it just needs to be pushed in terms of the scientific scale, that is scientifically supported in what we need to solve this problem.”

Ocasio-Cortez, whose backing would be a prize for 2020 Democrats seeking the progressive vote, acknowledged that her climate plan price tag would be derided as unrealistic, but argued that it was in line with the scale of the threat.

“It’s not popular, it’s not politically popular. People are going to call it unrealistic, and I just don’t think people understand how bad the problem is,” she said.